The Power of the Smart Grid
The "Smart Grid" is an electric system that includes information and communications technologies to turn the traditional "oneway" grid into a more dynamic "two-way" system. The point is to improve the way electricity gets distributed and used across the entire power grid, from where power is generated to our homes, and back again. A smart grid lets power companies and consumers see more about how power is being used—in near-real time. With that kind of information, the power company can better match supply to the demand, to increase efficiency, and consumers can make more informed decisions about when and how they use energy. For example someone could run appliances at times when demand is low and pay less on their electric bill. The implementation of the smart grid is generally thought to have the potential to significantly cut energy usage and waste. A recent study looked at exactly how beneficial a smart grid could be if we implemented it by 2030.